D&AD aims to encourage creative industry diversity with New Blood Shift

New programme aims to attract ‘untapped talent’ into creative industries via free 12-week night school

DandADShift-1200x1275Among the most frequently-cited barriers to working in the advertising industry are a lack of the right connections and the current system of lengthy periods of placements needed before a first job can be secured. Add to that the UK Government’s lack of support for creative subjects in secondary school and it becomes ever more difficult for the industry’s workforce to reflect the populations of the cities it works in.

With its New Blood Shift initiative, D&AD is attempting to create a path for young people who are already pursuing ‘creative lives’ to earn a living from their talent in the ad industry. Its central component will be a free 12-week night school supported by Leo Burnett, which will run in London from September 2016.

The scheme is targeted at those between 18 and 26 who have not been to university. An initial shortlist of 50 applicants will be asked to exhibit their work in July. A final list of 15 will then attend a three-day incubator programme later that month before starting the night school in September.

All will then feature in Shift Showcase, an exhibition charting their progress, in December. Thereafter they will receive mentoring from industry experts to help them on their career path.

Although the scheme will launch initially in London, D&AD hope to roll it out further afield in future.

Applications can be made here. Deadline June 1.

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